Expanding the Pool of Teachers Policy
The state should help to make licenses fully portable among states, with appropriate safeguards.
Alaska does not support licensure reciprocity for certified teachers from other states.
Commendably, Alaska requires that all teachers meet its own passing scores on licensing tests, and out-of-state teachers are allowed one year to meet these testing requirements.
However, other aspects of the state's policy create obstacles for teachers from other states seeking licensure in Alaska. Teachers with valid out-of-state certificates are eligible for Alaska's preliminary teaching license, but Alaska requires three credit hours each in Alaska studies and multicultural communications, and teachers must submit a transcript showing that six additional semester hours of credit have been earned within the past five years. The state does not offer a test-out option for any of its coursework requirements.
Although transcripts are required for all applicants, it is not clear whether the state analyzes these transcripts to determine whether a teacher was prepared through a traditional or alternate route or whether additional coursework will be required.
Alaska Administrative Code 4 AAC 12.305(b), 14.20.015 Certification Application http://www.eed.state.ak.us/TeacherCertification/forms/profess.pdf
Offer a standard license to certified out-of-state teachers, absent unnecessary requirements.
The state should offer standard licenses to certified out-of-state teachers rather than restricting them to provisional ones until they meet Alaska's requirements. Although the state's Alaska studies and multicultural communications coursework requirements are reasonable, it should offer out-of-state teachers a test-out option. The state should also reconsider its recency requirement as a means to judge licensure eligibility. Recent coursework is unlikely to positively affect a teacher's effectiveness, and such a requirement may deter experienced, effective teachers from applying for licensure in the state.
Accord the same license to out-of-state alternate route teachers as would be accorded to traditionally prepared teachers.
Alaska should consider discontinuing its requirement for the submission of transcripts. Transcript analysis is likely to result in additional coursework requirements, even for traditionally prepared teachers; alternate route teachers, on the other hand, may have to virtually begin anew, repeating some, most or all of a teacher preparation program in Alaska. Regardless of whether a teacher was prepared through a traditional or alternate route, all certified out-of-state teachers should receive equal treatment.
Alaska asserted that it accepts out-of-state certificates as the basis for initial certification, and that it does not have preliminary licensure. Teachers with current, valid out-of-state certificates are issued initial certificates in Alaska, and depending on whether the teacher has passed an accepted basic competency test, that initial certificate is valid for either one or two years.